Saturday, April 6, 2013

Snoring Demystified

I have written earlier, about How you can work towards getting a Good sleep and waking up Fresh every morning.

In this post I'm going to talk about something often neglected by most as the " Annoying Noise that people make while sleeping " . I know people who snore louder than the noise that Trucks make on highways or the firing of a Harley.

So, here's more on that...

Snoring occurs due to the Vibration of Respiratory structures cased by physical obstruction to Air Movement.

Causes for obstruction could be various: 
  1. Long uvula : The dangling tissue at the back of your mouth can be a cause of air obstruction 
  2. Weak Throat Muscles 
  3. Unfavorable Jaw structure 
  4. Fat gathering in and around the throat.
  5. Nasal passage blockage
  6. Sinus issues
  7. Alcohol, Smoking  and other relaxants that increase Muscle Relaxation
  8. Blockage of passage by Your own tongue
  9. Bulking of Throat Tissue due to being overweight
  10. Sleep Posture: Sleeping on your back can cause your own throat/tongue to block the airways 

Health and other Risks Associated with Snoring: 
  1. A latest Research by the Henry Ford Hospital  finds : Compared to non-snorers, Snorers were found to have a significantly greater intima-media thickness of the CAROTID ARTERIES, suggesting that the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease may actually begin with Snoring.
    Carotid Arteries are Two Large Blood Vessels that supply oxygenated blood to the Brain.
  2. Snoring could also be an Indicator of "SLEEP APNEA" . Most people consider Sleep Apnea to be a fancy name for Snoring , but this isn't true. Sleep Apnea is a serious issue that requires another post for elaboration and my next post will be on this.
  3. Relationship Issues : Snoring can be a leading cause of damage to your Relationship with your partner, in many ways.
  4. Fatigue & Frustration: Due to lack of oxygen supply to your brains and body , typically snorers may find themselves frequently fatigued, irritable & frustrated
  5. Daytime sleepiness , sleeping during Driving or performing other regular tasks
  6. Waking up Drowsy & fatigued even after a good 8-10 hours of sleep 
  7. Points 5 & 6 could also be indicators of Sleep Apnea (which i shall talk about in my next post)
  8. Strain on Heart

Problem Indicators of Snoring:At times, HOW you snore may also be the answer to WHY you snore.
  1. Closed mouth snoring may indicate a problem with the Tongue Muscle
  2. Open Mouth snoring may be an indicator of issues with Throat Muscle/Tissue
  3. Snoring only when sleeping on your back may be due to weak throat muscles
  4. Snoring in ALL positions may indicate a more severe problem that regular snoring and must be attended to urgently

Remedies for Snoring:
  1. Lose fat: Losing even just a few kgs can reduce the Fat Tissue at the back of your throat thus resulting in significant reduction in snoring and can even stop it altogether
  2. Avoid Alcohol, Cigarettes & Sedatives: All these excessively relax your muscles & aggravate snoring 
  3. Establish a Regular sleeping pattern
  4. Clear Nasal passages before sleeping
  5. Change your position of sleeping : Lying on your back can help, as your tongue & throat muscles don't fall back due to gravity. Here's a trick for people who wan't to change their habit of sleeping on their backs; The Tennis Ball Trick. Sew a Tennis ball on the top of your Pyjamas. So, everytime you sleep on your back, it'll be uncomfortable and you will have to sleep on your side.
  6. Sing!! : Singing can help strengthen your throat tissues & muscles and thus reduce snoring due to laxed muscles
  7. Try the following exercises to stop snoring. Start gradually then increase the number of sets you do. You can do these exercises while traveling , taking a shower, working out etc.
    • Repeat each vowel (a-e-i-o-u) out loud for three minutes a few times a day.
    • Place the tip of your tongue behind your top front teeth. Slide your tongue backwards for 3 minutes a day.
    • Close your mouth and purse your lips. Hold for 30 seconds.
    • With mouth open, move jaw to the right and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on left side.
    • With mouth open, contract the muscle at the back of your throat repeatedly for 30 seconds. Tip: Look in the mirror to see the uvula (“the hanging ball”) move up and down.

Remember , you MUST See a Doctor if either of these happens to you: 
  1. You fall asleep while performing routine tasks like Driving, Reading, having a regular conversation, eating etc. 
  2. You feel drowsy regularly even after a good 8-10 hours of sleep
  3. You wake up in the middle of the night feeling breathless/choked
  4. You regularly snore loudly and heavily



  1. I can think of people who do all three of the first triggers you listed. They have alcohol before going to bed, they are a little overweight and they have an irregular sleeping pattern. Of course, the irregular sleeping pattern is something that more and more people feel driven into because they have to finish a lot of work for the day.

    They put on weight because they are tied to a desk job. They have a drink because they want to unwind after a stressful day. Lifestyle changes will help.

  2. Anti-snoring mouth guards can also do wonders. Thanks for the tips!

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